What is The Joint Commission?
TJC is an abbreviation for The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. It is an organization made up of individuals from the private medical sector to develop and maintain standards of quality in medical facilities in the United States. The TJC has no official connection to United States government regulatory agencies, and has no legal enforcement power; however, since many medical facilities rely on TJC accreditation procedures to indicate to the public that their particular institution meets quality standards, TJC and its policies has taken on a real importance in the medical field, despite the lack of official government sanction.
TJC publishes a large body of literature designed to improve the quality of health services, and which can aid in the accreditation process for a health care facility. Although it is not necessary for any given health care organization to apply for, or complete, the TJC accreditation process, to do business in the United States or elsewhere, the successful completion of the TJC accreditation process gives the impression to the public that a facility has successfully implemented guaranteed quality control standards. A facility which has completed the TJC accreditation process can then include the TJC logo and accreditation information in their company literature.
What is CMS?
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is an agency within the US Department of Health & Human Services responsible for administration of several key federal health care programs. In addition to Medicare (the federal health insurance program for seniors) and Medicaid (the federal needs-based program), CMS oversees the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), among other services.
With the passage of the HITECH Act on February 17, 2009, the CMS has been charged with several key tasks for advancing health IT, including the implementation of electronic health record (EHR) incentive programs, a definition for the meaningful use of certified EHR technology, the drafting of standards for the certification of EHR technology and the updating of health information privacy and security regulations under HIPAA. Much of this work is being done in conjunction with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).